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As we are about done with the year of the Rooster, it's time for a little insight into the Chinese Year of the Dog.  To refine the picture, we must add that this is a male or Yang year, as well as an Earth element or Mountain year, which is associated with the color brown. Hence year of the Brown Yang Mountain Dog.

The Chinese New Year is typically marked by the New Moon following what in the West we call Imbolc. This year that falls on Feb 15 at 1:04 pm Pacific Time.

Because Chinese years go in multiples of 12, you were born in the year of the D...

There is a considerable amount of confusion about totems, power animals and animal spirit guides. And little in the way of any universally accepted, authentic, credible sources to shed reliable light when it comes to the ancient wisdom and practices of Native North American spiritualities.  Nonetheless, I shall provide here what I learned from my Ojibwe teacher and his apprentice.

Totem Animals

First and foremost, a totem is a symbol of identity. Although individuals can have a personal totem -- usually gained through some exceptional feat o...

RedHawk is a what I describe as a shamanic spirit guide. What that means is that he is a creature with the ability to connect with humans and give them answers, nudges, and guidance when called on. A shamanic spirit guide is not an individual animal was once lived in the world and is now deceased. It is, rather, the spiritual and physical archetype for all those living creatures, embodying both the behavioral and metaphysical traits of the species.

In shamanic spirituality, all sentient beings of the natural world have medicine. This includes pl...

My shamanic spirit guide WildWolf has a message for those who are feeling a heavy despair in this blessed season of embracing the dark before the renewal of the light. WildWolf comes to me from the direction of the West, the direction of emotions and of endings. He is a teacher and pathfinder spirit who shares insights and advice from the spirit world.

WildWolf Says

Your feelings are powerful and important. They have the potential to heal your heart and release your fear and sorrow when they walk alongside your intellect’s need to find the spirit...

Authentic spirit guides versus malicious poser entities have been a topic of discussion lately, and I’d like to add my somewhat opinionated and shamanic 2 cents worth. Now this is simply what makes sense to me, based on my training and spiritual biases, so don’t take it as gospel, just as additional perspective to consider.

Personally, I work strictly with shamanic animal archetypes as my spirit guides and guardians. They surround me 360 degrees, and one of their main jobs as a collective is to prevent intrusive energies from getting into my ene...

The idea of pantheons is not a shamanic concept, so let me explain what that is as a starting point. Strictly speaking a pantheon is the set of deities that belong to a specific mytho-religious belief system.  We are most familiar with part of the Greco-Roman pantheon because planets of astrology have been named for some of them:

  • Mercury | Mars | Venus

  • Jupiter | Saturn | Chiron

  • Uranus | Neptune | Pluto

  • Juno | Ceres | Pallas Athena | Vesta

Shamanic practice that derives from the ancient diverse spiritualities of Native North...

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All unfolds as it must but deeper awareness allows

the trajectory of that unfolding to move in the direction of the Light.